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  • What ABOUT the Babe???

    I'm a new member, and I have a question:

    What is the real explanation for the Babe's stats?

    How was he, and he alone, about to outhit the entire game during his own era? His HR and slugging totals were amazing, but how was he able to outhomer whole teams? Statistically, it doesn't make any sense. No one has done this before or since. His totals just fall so far out of the normal curve that I can't think of an explanation that is obvious.

    Was he a specimen? I don't really think it was the parks or the ball. Was it all the carbs in the beer? He couldn't have been the only one drinking it. I'm sure he wasn't working out.

    I remember Bob Matthias, the Olympic decalthlon champion in the 50's saying that he thought he won his gold medals over the Europeans because he could get and drink milk, and they couldn't.

    What is it? I'm dying to know.

  • #2
    Originally posted by tommydee2000
    but how was he able to outhomer whole teams? Statistically, it doesn't make any sense. No one has done this before or since.
    Plenty of players have outhomered entire teams. Before and after Ruth:

    George Hall, Charley Jones, Lip Pike, Orator Shaffer, Pop Snyder, Deacon White, Lew Brown, Tom Carey, Bill Crowley, Jim Devlin, Joe Gerhardt, Joe Battin, Terry Larkin, Tom York, Tim Murnane, Joe Start, Bill Hague, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, Dan Brouthers, Charlie Eden, Harry Stovey, Fred Dunlap, Charlie Bennett, Oscar Walker, Pete Browning, Buck Ewing, John Reilly, Jerry Denny, Joe Hornung, Monte Ward, John Morrill, Jim Whitney, Tom Brown, Jack Burdock, Chuck Fulmer, George Wood, Pop Smith, Sam Wise, Ned Williamson, Fred Pfeffer, Abner Dalrymple, Cap Anson, Dave Orr, Fred Mann, John Kerins, Fred Carroll, Oyster Burns, Bill Kuehne, Bid McPhee, Fred Corey, Chief Roseman, Guy Hecker, Frank Mountain, Jim Clinton, Jim Field, Joe Sommer, Frank Fennelly, Pop Corkhill, Jimmy Macullar, Podge Weihe, Hick Carpenter, Jocko Milligan, Henry Larkin, Bill Greenwood, Jim Keenan, Tim Keefe, Charlie Householder, Dennis Casey, John Peltz, Ecky Stearns, Tony Mullane, Bill Schenck, John Richmond, Jack Remsen, Phil Reccius, Sam Trott, Tip O'Neill, Chicken Wolf, Ed Crane, Charlie Levis, Tom O'Brien, Jack Gleason, Emil Gross, Bill Hawes, Henry Boyle, Dick Burns, Joe Flynn, Dave Rowe, Frank McLaughlin, Jack Clements, Dick Phelan, Charlie Bastian, Lou Say, Billy Taylor, Bill Wise, Jack Glasscock, Bill Harbidge, Lou Sylvester, Yank Robinson, Mox McQuery, Emmett Seery, Jumbo Schoeneck, Jack Jones, Sam Crane, Joe Crotty, Charlie Briggs, Charlie Berry, Phil Baker, Jim Brown, Bob Black, Dan O'Leary, Milt Whitehead, Harry Wheeler, Peek-A-Boo Veach, Charlie Sweeney, John Irwin, Martin Powell, Eddie Fusselback, Jerrie Moore, Harry Moore, John Kelly, Charlie Baker, Walter Hackett, Bill Schwartz, King Kelly, Tom Burns, Sam Thompson, Jimmy Ryan, Bug Holliday, Count Campau, Ed Cartwright, Denny Lyons, Jack Stivetts, Tommy McCarthy, Perry Werden, Jimmy Knowles, Sandy Griffin, Wilbert Robinson, Charlie Reilly, Deacon McGuire, Jack O'Brien, Billy O'Brien, Parson Nicholson, John Munyan, Charlie Hamburg, Harry Lyons, Ed Swartwood, Farmer Weaver, Charlie Duffee, Ted Scheffler, Pat Friel, Tom Gettinger, Ed Delahanty, Mike Tiernan, Bobby Lowe, Roger Connor, George Davis, Jimmy Collins, Buck Freeman, Nap Lajoie, Socks Seybold, Tommy Leach, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Davis, Charlie Hickman, Tim Jordan, Sam Crawford, Bill Hinchman, Harry Niles, George Stone, Simon Nicholls, Jimmy Williams, Topsy Hartsel, Danny Murphy, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Jake Stahl, Duffy Lewis, Home Run Baker, Gavvy Cravath, Fred Luderus, Vic Saier, Wally Pipp, Bobby Veach, Ping Bodie, Happy Felsch, Joe Jackson, Tim Hendryx, Harry Heilmann, Dave Robertson, Tilly Walker, George Burns, Bob Meusel, Ken Williams, George Kelly, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Williams, Joe Hauser, Jack Fournier, Hack Wilson, Jim Bottomley, Les Bell, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Chet Laabs, Charlie Keller, Rudy York, Vern Stephens, Joe DiMaggio, and Joe Gordon.

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    • #3
      So Dimaggio & Gordon were the last two players to outhomer another team in the same league? I did not know that.

      Comment


      • #4
        What I mean is...

        Didn't he outhomer most of the teams in the AL? Did many of the other guys do that?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BoSox Rule
          Plenty of players have outhomered entire teams. Before and after Ruth:

          George Hall, Charley Jones, Lip Pike, Orator Shaffer, Pop Snyder, Deacon White, Lew Brown, Tom Carey, Bill Crowley, Jim Devlin, Joe Gerhardt, Joe Battin, Terry Larkin, Tom York, Tim Murnane, Joe Start, Bill Hague, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, Dan Brouthers, Charlie Eden, Harry Stovey, Fred Dunlap, Charlie Bennett, Oscar Walker, Pete Browning, Buck Ewing, John Reilly, Jerry Denny, Joe Hornung, Monte Ward, John Morrill, Jim Whitney, Tom Brown, Jack Burdock, Chuck Fulmer, George Wood, Pop Smith, Sam Wise, Ned Williamson, Fred Pfeffer, Abner Dalrymple, Cap Anson, Dave Orr, Fred Mann, John Kerins, Fred Carroll, Oyster Burns, Bill Kuehne, Bid McPhee, Fred Corey, Chief Roseman, Guy Hecker, Frank Mountain, Jim Clinton, Jim Field, Joe Sommer, Frank Fennelly, Pop Corkhill, Jimmy Macullar, Podge Weihe, Hick Carpenter, Jocko Milligan, Henry Larkin, Bill Greenwood, Jim Keenan, Tim Keefe, Charlie Householder, Dennis Casey, John Peltz, Ecky Stearns, Tony Mullane, Bill Schenck, John Richmond, Jack Remsen, Phil Reccius, Sam Trott, Tip O'Neill, Chicken Wolf, Ed Crane, Charlie Levis, Tom O'Brien, Jack Gleason, Emil Gross, Bill Hawes, Henry Boyle, Dick Burns, Joe Flynn, Dave Rowe, Frank McLaughlin, Jack Clements, Dick Phelan, Charlie Bastian, Lou Say, Billy Taylor, Bill Wise, Jack Glasscock, Bill Harbidge, Lou Sylvester, Yank Robinson, Mox McQuery, Emmett Seery, Jumbo Schoeneck, Jack Jones, Sam Crane, Joe Crotty, Charlie Briggs, Charlie Berry, Phil Baker, Jim Brown, Bob Black, Dan O'Leary, Milt Whitehead, Harry Wheeler, Peek-A-Boo Veach, Charlie Sweeney, John Irwin, Martin Powell, Eddie Fusselback, Jerrie Moore, Harry Moore, John Kelly, Charlie Baker, Walter Hackett, Bill Schwartz, King Kelly, Tom Burns, Sam Thompson, Jimmy Ryan, Bug Holliday, Count Campau, Ed Cartwright, Denny Lyons, Jack Stivetts, Tommy McCarthy, Perry Werden, Jimmy Knowles, Sandy Griffin, Wilbert Robinson, Charlie Reilly, Deacon McGuire, Jack O'Brien, Billy O'Brien, Parson Nicholson, John Munyan, Charlie Hamburg, Harry Lyons, Ed Swartwood, Farmer Weaver, Charlie Duffee, Ted Scheffler, Pat Friel, Tom Gettinger, Ed Delahanty, Mike Tiernan, Bobby Lowe, Roger Connor, George Davis, Jimmy Collins, Buck Freeman, Nap Lajoie, Socks Seybold, Tommy Leach, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Davis, Charlie Hickman, Tim Jordan, Sam Crawford, Bill Hinchman, Harry Niles, George Stone, Simon Nicholls, Jimmy Williams, Topsy Hartsel, Danny Murphy, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Jake Stahl, Duffy Lewis, Home Run Baker, Gavvy Cravath, Fred Luderus, Vic Saier, Wally Pipp, Bobby Veach, Ping Bodie, Happy Felsch, Joe Jackson, Tim Hendryx, Harry Heilmann, Dave Robertson, Tilly Walker, George Burns, Bob Meusel, Ken Williams, George Kelly, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Williams, Joe Hauser, Jack Fournier, Hack Wilson, Jim Bottomley, Les Bell, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Chet Laabs, Charlie Keller, Rudy York, Vern Stephens, Joe DiMaggio, and Joe Gordon.
          How many of those guys did it 90+ times and often hit more than 2 teams combined? I get your basic point though
          Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 04-06-2006, 03:20 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tommydee2000
            I'm a new member, and I have a question:

            What is the real explanation for the Babe's stats?

            How was he, and he alone, about to outhit the entire game during his own era? His HR and slugging totals were amazing, but how was he able to outhomer whole teams? Statistically, it doesn't make any sense. No one has done this before or since. His totals just fall so far out of the normal curve that I can't think of an explanation that is obvious.
            Well, the short answer, is that he was taking an approach very few others could do. Think of it like you're a race-car driver, and you're able to hold the gas down all way around curves, but the other drivers have to let off.

            Most hitters back then took a contact approach. Once Babe came along, some players saw what he did, and quickly tried to follow. They experimented with switching to a thinner handled, bigger barreled bat like he used, and tried to emulate his "uppercut" swing.

            The problem was, for them a choice needed to be made, due to them not having the strength and gifts he had. Go for power, or go for contact. Most opted to abandon the "emulation" and went back to what they knew best, focusing on higher averages.

            In fairness to them, they couldn't afford to spend proper time to fully follow the path Ruth paved. He had an advantage early on by being a pitcher, and although he was always a slugger dating back to St. Mary's, he was able to experiment against big league pitching. These early years were crucial in him being able to develop the ability to hit for power AND average. When they tried for power, their average would suffer and they were risking being out of a job just to try and match Babe? Not worth it, especially when they couldn't come close to matching him. Babe's early years were important for him.

            So it's a layered answer kinda. His relative power numbers are so great because very few were taking his approach, but they weren't able to take his approach because they couldn't do what he was doing. I truly believe, that the one other guy who could have at least put up 35-40 homers while maintaining a .350-.360 average during that time would have been Shoeless Joe. He was that rare of a hitter. If he was allowed to continue playing at 30 years old, just when the rule changes came into affect that is.

            Was he a specimen?
            Pretty much. Like he landed from another planet. You could start with this.

            http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Fullerton/


            I don't really think it was the parks or the ball.
            I think the huge parks, along with his ability to slug to all fields, allowed his SA to be so high, and his ability to hit the long ball opened up a little more space for his other hits to drop in safely. At the same time, some triples, doubles, and long fly outs, might have been homers in shorter parks, so maybe it all evens out.

            Was it all the carbs in the beer?
            Actually, scotch was his drink of choice, but beer was no enemy.

            I'm sure he wasn't working out.
            He didn't workout like today's players for sure. Wasn't available to him back then. Taking care of his farm in the winter, chopping wood and shoveling snow was a good workout, but he had very little reason to actually workout until '25 when his weight got out of control. His lifestyle had finally caught up to him, and after the surgery, he worked out at McGovern's gym every offseason, boxing and using a medicine ball. He remained in good shape (save a small belly) until around '31 when he started slacking. He was always active though, which helped. Hunting, golfing, doing whatever.

            If you're genuinely curious about learning more on him, you should go checkout the "Babe Ruth General" thread in the history section. You might learn that he wouldn't read books or magazines because he was afraid it would ruin his eyes. He wouldn't go to movies for the same reason. He used to have Claire read to him rather than read himself. Actually not sure if that's there or not, but better you just go check that out, than have me continue to ramble
            Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 04-06-2006, 03:27 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks

              That's a big help. The ptiching angle makes a lot of sense, and was something I hadn't thought of. I still like the beer theory, though.

              >>In fairness to them, they couldn't afford to spend proper time to fully follow the path Ruth paved. He had an advantage early on by being a pitcher, and although he was always a slugger dating back to St. Mary's, he was able to experiment against big league pitching. These early years were crucial in him being able to develop the ability to hit for power AND average. <<

              Comment


              • #8
                Babe's rise to prominence also coincided with the new livelier baseball, the banning of spitballs and their ilk, and the removal of balls from games once they were sullied. Granted these things were all available to all hitters.
                Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCGHOST
                  Babe's rise to prominence also coincided with the new livelier baseball, the banning of spitballs and their ilk, and the removal of balls from games once they were sullied. Granted these things were all available to all hitters.
                  Chicken or the egg, egg or the chicken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoSox Rule
                    Plenty of players have outhomered entire teams. Before and after Ruth:

                    George Hall, Charley Jones, Lip Pike, Orator Shaffer, Pop Snyder, Deacon White, Lew Brown, Tom Carey, Bill Crowley, Jim Devlin, Joe Gerhardt, Joe Battin, Terry Larkin, Tom York, Tim Murnane, Joe Start, Bill Hague, Paul Hines, Jim O'Rourke, Dan Brouthers, Charlie Eden, Harry Stovey, Fred Dunlap, Charlie Bennett, Oscar Walker, Pete Browning, Buck Ewing, John Reilly, Jerry Denny, Joe Hornung, Monte Ward, John Morrill, Jim Whitney, Tom Brown, Jack Burdock, Chuck Fulmer, George Wood, Pop Smith, Sam Wise, Ned Williamson, Fred Pfeffer, Abner Dalrymple, Cap Anson, Dave Orr, Fred Mann, John Kerins, Fred Carroll, Oyster Burns, Bill Kuehne, Bid McPhee, Fred Corey, Chief Roseman, Guy Hecker, Frank Mountain, Jim Clinton, Jim Field, Joe Sommer, Frank Fennelly, Pop Corkhill, Jimmy Macullar, Podge Weihe, Hick Carpenter, Jocko Milligan, Henry Larkin, Bill Greenwood, Jim Keenan, Tim Keefe, Charlie Householder, Dennis Casey, John Peltz, Ecky Stearns, Tony Mullane, Bill Schenck, John Richmond, Jack Remsen, Phil Reccius, Sam Trott, Tip O'Neill, Chicken Wolf, Ed Crane, Charlie Levis, Tom O'Brien, Jack Gleason, Emil Gross, Bill Hawes, Henry Boyle, Dick Burns, Joe Flynn, Dave Rowe, Frank McLaughlin, Jack Clements, Dick Phelan, Charlie Bastian, Lou Say, Billy Taylor, Bill Wise, Jack Glasscock, Bill Harbidge, Lou Sylvester, Yank Robinson, Mox McQuery, Emmett Seery, Jumbo Schoeneck, Jack Jones, Sam Crane, Joe Crotty, Charlie Briggs, Charlie Berry, Phil Baker, Jim Brown, Bob Black, Dan O'Leary, Milt Whitehead, Harry Wheeler, Peek-A-Boo Veach, Charlie Sweeney, John Irwin, Martin Powell, Eddie Fusselback, Jerrie Moore, Harry Moore, John Kelly, Charlie Baker, Walter Hackett, Bill Schwartz, King Kelly, Tom Burns, Sam Thompson, Jimmy Ryan, Bug Holliday, Count Campau, Ed Cartwright, Denny Lyons, Jack Stivetts, Tommy McCarthy, Perry Werden, Jimmy Knowles, Sandy Griffin, Wilbert Robinson, Charlie Reilly, Deacon McGuire, Jack O'Brien, Billy O'Brien, Parson Nicholson, John Munyan, Charlie Hamburg, Harry Lyons, Ed Swartwood, Farmer Weaver, Charlie Duffee, Ted Scheffler, Pat Friel, Tom Gettinger, Ed Delahanty, Mike Tiernan, Bobby Lowe, Roger Connor, George Davis, Jimmy Collins, Buck Freeman, Nap Lajoie, Socks Seybold, Tommy Leach, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Davis, Charlie Hickman, Tim Jordan, Sam Crawford, Bill Hinchman, Harry Niles, George Stone, Simon Nicholls, Jimmy Williams, Topsy Hartsel, Danny Murphy, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Jake Stahl, Duffy Lewis, Home Run Baker, Gavvy Cravath, Fred Luderus, Vic Saier, Wally Pipp, Bobby Veach, Ping Bodie, Happy Felsch, Joe Jackson, Tim Hendryx, Harry Heilmann, Dave Robertson, Tilly Walker, George Burns, Bob Meusel, Ken Williams, George Kelly, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Williams, Joe Hauser, Jack Fournier, Hack Wilson, Jim Bottomley, Les Bell, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Chuck Klein, Mel Ott, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Chet Laabs, Charlie Keller, Rudy York, Vern Stephens, Joe DiMaggio, and Joe Gordon.
                    I realize it's a different game today, has been for years. Babe Ruth or anyone else could certainly not out homer teams today or in recent years.

                    Many of those hitters on that above list out homered teams that had under 10 home runs in the whole season, some teams had only a few home runs the entire season. OK, technically they did out homer them, but it was no great feat. As for those who came later they very seldom out homered teams that were in double figures. No one in the live ball era out homered teams as many time as Ruth did, not even close.

                    The fact that he was the forerunner of the long ball does not matter, he did it far more times than any others and did it when he was being walked more than any other hitter.

                    In 1920 he hit more home runs than any team in the AL and 7 teams in the NL. In that same season his 148 walks was equal to 25 percent of the walks issued to whole teams, all but one of the teams in both leagues. In some cases his 148 walks was equal to 40 percent of a teams total walks. On top of that he played 142 games in 1920.

                    Most of those on that list were flukes, Ruth was the real thing, lots of walks and still out homers more teams more times in the live ball era.
                    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 04-11-2006, 08:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a little something the anti-Ruth crowd pastes up anytime that topic comes up. They don't care to look deeper, no worries.

                      Tommydee, if you have any other questions, me and Shoeless are always willing to to talk all things Babe.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks

                        Thanks, guys. I'm still not certain how he did it, but your explanations make more sense than others I've heard, like the small parks. They were indeed small, but last I checked, I presume that the other guys played there too.

                        I guess something that struck me was very late in his career, a jealous Ty Cobb hit a homer "on purpose" to show what Babe was doing was no big deal.

                        Well ye-ah.

                        My guess that the backward thinking of a lot of the managers had something to do with it as well. It apparently never occurred to anyone until Casey Stengel used Joe Page in 1949 to try and win late in a game by putting in a better pitcher, so I could see how they missed the value of an HR.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tommydee2000
                          Thanks, guys. I'm still not certain how he did it, but your explanations make more sense than others I've heard, like the small parks. They were indeed small, but last I checked, I presume that the other guys played there too.
                          I would recommend going to www.ballparks.com and go through the AL stadiums of Babe's time one by one. It will break down the fence distances and when they were changed. Check out Shibe Park, Fenway Park, Griffith Stadium, Navin Field, Yankee Stadium, League Park, Sportsman's Park and Comiskey Park.

                          Babe could pull the ball with the best of 'em, but from all accounts, he had power to all fields; pretty much had to because pitchers wouldn't give him much to hit. Yankee Stadium, although short down the right field line, killed him and others in deep right center and center. Same with the Polo Grounds which was very short down both lines. Even so, 16 of his first home homeruns in '20 either went over the roof, or into the upper deck. No doubt he had his share of cheapies, pretty hard to avoid that, but the other dimensions probably took more away imo.

                          My guess that the backward thinking of a lot of the managers had something to do with it as well. It apparently never occurred to anyone until Casey Stengel used Joe Page in 1949 to try and win late in a game by putting in a better pitcher, so I could see how they missed the value of an HR.
                          Managers didn't bring pitchers in like they do today with Babe. They sometimes did, and sometimes either just pitched around him, or intentionally walked him. He was the guy that you didn't let beat you. Another thing to remember when talking about how the pitchers stayed in longer; we have to consider why they were able to go longer. Most people agree that they were able to coast by with certain hitters, not using 100% of their energy. They'd pick and choose their spots. Either when they were in a jam, or when somebody like Babe came up. So although the same pitcher might have stayed in more often, he always saw their A+ stuff.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tommydee2000

                            My guess that the backward thinking of a lot of the managers had something to do with it as well. It apparently never occurred to anyone until Casey Stengel used Joe Page in 1949 to try and win late in a game by putting in a better pitcher, so I could see how they missed the value of an HR.
                            Joe Page was not the first big-time relief pitcher used by the Yankees. Joe McCarthy used Johnny Murphy in the same role in the 1930s. It's easy to say now that managers should have done this or that but that wasn't how the game was played in Ruth's era.

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